I’ve been writing a lot about the social network wars between Google, Facebook and Twitter and it’s been exciting to follow but last week the game changed. And it changed in a big way.
Facebook has been hanging in the background adding a few updates here and there to test out things that Google has added. I’ve discussed these here, here and here (just to name a few posts). As they’ve been doing this I had been speculating that they may have a chink in their armor and open to attack. I was wrong. You know you’re pretty bad ass when you can change the profile game for 800 million people with one update.
Timeline is a new way to view your life and turn Facebook into more of a home. It also happens to be your new “Profile” page. Here are the directions for early access to it. I have attached a picture of my profile page on Facebook above. I dont know the details of how it works and I dont really care but this is what I understand of what it does.
You can connect to websites all over the internet by signing into it via your Facebook login. When you do this, Facebook understands what you like and enjoy. With the new profile design, it can now share with your friends what you are doing, what music you’re listening to, what movies you may be watching…anything. As long as you login via Facebook.
Timeline also rearranges all photos and videos on your time line by the date that is inside the code of every picture taken from your camera or phone. You may not realize it but there is a time stamp for each digital photo taken. Facebook reads that behind the scene and assigns it to the correct year and month on your timeline. If you uploaded a photo that doesn’t have a time stamp then you will be able to add a photo manually to a certain time.
What do I think? This is incredible. This is Apple - Steve Jobs innovation. Instead of following, they are leading and recreating the standard. Google can catch up and so can Twitter but in order for that to happen, Facebook needs to get lazy and complacent. I dont see that happening. This update proves that they are looking further into the future then we can even imagine.
Even with these changes, the social network wars will continue and while each company innovates and grows the technology created will change our world and we the user will be the ones who benefit.
Facebook, you have won another battle in the social media wars and Google wants to move past it with out drawing attention to it.
In case you didn’t notice, Google+ just pivoted in stealth mode and changed the name of their “Huddle” feature to “Messenger.” Messenger, the name of Facebook’s new app that does the same thing is a group texting application. Here is more information about Facebook’s solid Messenger app. This has been changed in their latest update on the app store.
What does this mean? In my opinion, it looks like Google realized that their Huddle feature wasn’t being used and perhaps people didn’t understand what google huddle would be used for. I can agree that I didn’t use google huddle at all and preferred Facebook Messenger to group texting. It’s too early to say if this new update and a name change will make a difference.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
These past few months, the war has been a little quiet between Facebook, Twitter and Google but lately Facebook has been making moves to show their imitation of their competitors main strengths; Twitter Following and Google Plus Circles
Let’s see what Facebook created:
Subscriber Lists: Now you can subscribe to someone’s feed on Facebook so you could see their “Public” posts with out having to be their ACCEPTED “Friend”.
This is a feature that Twitter accomplishes when you “Follow” someone and that Google Plus satisfies when you place someone into one of your “Circles.”
Is this going to take off? I’m not sure. It’s in Twitter and Google Plus’s DNA to follow people and the simplicity makes it work. On Twitter, you click the follow button to follow anyone. On Google Plus, you assign them to a Circle right from the get-go. It’s just what you do. In either case, it doesn’t matter if they are your friend or not. On Facebook, there is more left to decide and in the end you have more to do manually.
In Facebook’s defense, I do have to say this looks good and it could be the best choice of action in their wheel house. The Subscribe option is pretty smooth but it may only be used by those Facebook fans that want to say something to those Google Plus and Twitter users who prefer that over Facebook. So right now there are the early adopter Google Plus users, the established Twitters and two groups inside Facebook…the ones who think Facebook is better than everything else and the rest that just dont care. The next few months will show us how large the latter group is.
What do you think about the change? What are you going to do?
FYI to all you Google Chrome users. They have now updated Google Chrome to use the same swipe back and forth features that happen with in the new OSX Lion upgrade in Safari.
This is good news because Chrome is considerably faster than Safari (although Safari looks better). Now you can benefit from the same features on Chrome! If you are currently using Chrome as your default browser, try it right now. Swipe back and forth and watch the BACK ARROW and FORWARD ARROW at work.